USC opens Russell House theater for signing event
When Jadeveon Clowney made his long-awaited announcement in Rock Hill, the 50 or so students inside the Russell House theater erupted in a loud chaos of chants, fist bumps, hugs and grins.
Clowney’s announcement 50 miles away was the culmination of weeks of anxious waiting, nervous Twitter checks, thousands of news reports and plenty of speculation.
A little before 10:30 Monday morning, it ended in sheer mass elation.
Kim McMahon, director of the Russell House, chose to open the theater and use the live cable feed early Monday morning. The event wasn’t advertised, but students steadily streamed into the theater prior to the announcement.
“It was an impromptu show of school spirit,” McMahon said.
Before the announcement, students constantly scrolled through their iPads, computers and smartphones, reading commentary and looking for the most recent update. School officials changed the channel from ESPN after a student promised live coverage on another network.
Some students inside the theater heard about the event from friends. Others happened to be in the Russell House and were frantically searching for a place to watch the 10:15 a.m. announcement.
“I was trying to watch it in the bookstore,” said Coard Miller, a third-year visual communications student, “but they wouldn’t let us turn the volume up.”
And while the televisions were without volume in the bookstore, the students made up for the lack of noise, hollering loud enough to be heard one floor above when the decision was made.